Highway To Heaven: Season 1

Highway to Heaven

On DVD: 
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Before Saving Grace there was Touched by an Angel. Before Touched by an Angel there was Highway To Heaven. And before Highway To Heaven there was…well, Clarence and It’s a Wonderful Life, I suppose? The supernatural in general, and angels in particular, is a pretty fertile ground for fiction, though often with wildly differing results.

Highway hearkens back to a slightly gentler time, both in terms of TV/media and in perceptions/portrayals of God. Not to make out the mid-to-late 80s as some sort of idyllic time for religious media, but there’s a kinder spirit to this TV show than you might expect to see in this day and age. I mean, you’ve got Pa Ingalls as your lead character for crying out loud. What’s not to like? Cast as Jonathan Smith, an angel on a mission from God, he travels wherever he’s needed, stepping in and lending a loving hand to the people he encounters. His partner in healing of course is Mark Gordon (played by Michael Landon’s best friend, Victor French). It’s probably not the most Scripturally/Biblically accurate depiction of human/angel interaction, but that’s not too surprising really.

And that’s basically it. As a TV serial, the show followed the same basic format week in and week out. For this season box set, you get all 24 episodes from the first season spread out across 7 DVDs. The special features include a feature length documentary about Landon, outtakes and text biographies of Landon and French. If you’ve never seen the show, give it a shot on TV first (it’s in syndication on a few different channels) to see if it’s to your liking. In this day of flashier, fast-paced TV programming, something like Highway To Heaven is a bit of an anomaly, but it can be a refreshing one.

Jeremy Hunt
Review by Jeremy Hunt
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